Fancy Occasions Call for Fancy Cuts of Meat

Bone-In Pork Roast with Apples and Gremolata

Fun fact: I've always wanted to cook a pork roast with the bones frenched…

Fun fact: I’ve always wanted to cook a pork roast with the bones frenched…

The bear and I were celebrating an anniversary and sadly, neither of us were feeling that well.  I had a cold and he was just exhausted from a conference he had recently returned from.  So, we decided to stay in.  We still wanted it to be special so I decided I would make this beautiful pork roast.  To make it even more special we went to the local version of whole foods and bought a truly impressive (and expensive) locally grown organic happy pork roast.  They frenched the bones (i.e., scraped all the meat off creating the Flintstones-esque presentation) and trussed it for me so it would come out perfectly shaped when I cooked it.

After all the work they put into it, the rest of the meal was truly easy.  I cut a few apples in half to roast the pork on.  I popped it into the oven and let it cook for a little over an hour and in the meantime I prepared the gremolata.  The pork came out, and while I let it rest I roasted some brussels sprouts (if you have never tried roast brussels sprouts you really should) and some acorn squash.

Check out the feast.

Check out the feast.  And good news I got some real napkins for Christmas courtesy of M.

How did it all turn out you ask?  Awesome.  By far, the best pork roast I’ve ever had.  That was one truly happy pig.  And gremolata should be served far more often.  The herbs and the lemon from the gremolata made everything so bright and fresh tasting (which is a hard thing to do this time of year).  And the apples mixed with the little bit of white wine and pork juices were delicious.

It was a very special dinner with very little work.  Next time you have a special occasion keep this pork roast in mind.

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Rye-Crusted Pork Medallions and Red Cabbage with Apple

Rye-Crusted Pork Medallions

Red Cabbage with Apple

October 2003, pgs. 79 & 91

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Coming from a German background, this kind of dish is very familiar to me.  My mom has made red cabbage since I was a kid.  She always wings it (this is true of most things she makes but somehow they usually taste pretty darn good), but this recipe tastes a lot like hers.

There is just enough bacon to make the dish taste rich and meaty and there is just enough vinegar to cut the richness and round out the flavor profile.  You hardly notice the apple to be perfectly honest, but I like the idea of having some extra nutrients in there.

The other thing I really like about the cabbage is the color.  It’s so pretty.  And everyone knows you are supposed to eat all the colors of the rainbow!  How many opportunities do you have to eat burgundy!? (I said eat, not drink!).  If you have never given red cabbage a shot, you should really consider this recipe.  It is very simple and it really is delicious!

On to the pork! The pork was good.  I liked the flavor added by the rye bread rather than just plain bread crumbs.  I did not like the fact that the breading refused to stay on my pork.  Maybe I should have dried the crumbs out a bit.  I think they might have held on to the egg better if they weren’t still so moist on their own.  Every time I would flip one over, the just-browned crust stayed in the pan without the pork.  Luckily, I was able to scrape it up in one piece in most instances and place it back onto the pork so the idea of the crust was still there even though it was more of a blanket by the time we ate it.  But like I said, the flavor was good.  Really good when in conjunction with the red cabbage.  Definitely make them both, just perhaps let your bread crumbs sit out for an hour or so before you start cooking.